Dad 2.0 2020

Nine Things I Learned from the Ninth Dad 2.0! — Casey with Canadian Chips
When you go to Dad 2, come bearing gifts!

The Dad 2.0 Summit is a different kind of conference. Sure, it has many of the moving parts that make a conference a conference, but they all come with a twist that makes them unique. Sponsor presentations like the man who understood how divorce and being there for his daughters made him a better Dad, or the company whose creative director went undercover as a teenage girl to ferret out sexual predators online. Fathers who’d take the stage and share what it’s like to lose a wife to cancer or the things they discover as they think about their children and the lives they lead. Each time someone spoke, it peeled back another layer, leaving hundreds of Dads forever changed by the time they found their ways back home.

But then, one might argue it’s a bit masochistic. That we convened from clear across the continent to face the parts of ourselves we couldn’t share in our everyday lives, and the demons we never seem to shake. That we come out knowing more of the things that go “bump” in the night and the dangers around each corner if we lose sight of our kids for a second. Why would anyone in their right minds want to subject themselves to this?

Because we must. Because it’s all important. And because if we dads with the platforms to share messages to the people who need them most can do a little more today than we could with what we had before Dad 2.0, then why would we not?

Let me show you a little of what Dad 2.0‘s all about.

The 2017 100 | It’s Not WHAT You Do, It’s How You DO It.

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100 — It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It. — New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

Partying Up Rain or Shine (or Snowmageddon) — The Ford Blue Party

Even though Maverick PR’s #OpenEnvelope-inspiring tweet likely got some would-be attendees to stay in and out of the cold of Snowmageddon, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about Ford Canada, it’s this — they definitely know how to throw an event!

How far will you go to party?

Though many weren’t willing to brave Snowmageddon to attend “another social media event”, I’ll be one to tell them that they missed out! It was a testament to tenacity on Friday, February 8th, as a number of us made it out to Ford Canada’s Blue Party! Held at the Sound Academy on the south end of Toronto, the Blue Party was all about bringing a number of Toronto bloggers together to see the unveiling of the 2014 Ford Fiesta, a fuel-efficient hatchback with a slick look to it!

A screenshot of a mysterious Facebook message I received.
I’ll admit, I didn’t know what it was for, but since I knew the guy, I figured it wouldn’t be for spam!

Not one to waste time questioning messages from people I know, I sent it along, not knowing what would come next.

What did come next was this —

I was fortunate enough to get a ride there with my friend Christine, but even if you weren’t driving in, Ford even hooked it up with a shuttle service to the venue:

What Makes a Party a Party?

With one of the most painless check-in processes I’d ever seen, we got our badges, checked out coats, posed for pictures — and got greeted by members of the Ford Canada team and glasses of the Blue Grand Margarita (the event’s dangerously addictive drink of choice) as soon as we got in the door!

No matter where you looked, there was something you could do:

Catch up With Friends

It was good hanging with Christine again, and catching up with the likes of Alexa and Zach with many other friends in the house 🙂

Gaming and Leisure

One corner held games and grooming, with a foosball table, two games offering head-to-head racing competition, and stations for manicures, makeover and massages (oh my!)

Boys and their Toys

Ford displayed choice cars all over the floor, with detailed specs for each so you could understand what you could come to expect by being a Ford owner:

Gotta Eat and Run

The food — oh my goodness, I don’t know who they got to cater this, but the food was delicious. I had Justin jealous with the livetweeting of everything I was cramming down my throat, and he’s lucky that there was so much sensory overload going on all night, or there would’ve been plenty more:

An excuse to rock an outfit

View this post on Instagram

@wedding_crasher and @doomzto at the #FordBlueTO

A post shared by Ford Canada (@fordcanada) on

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Battle of the Bands, so the sequined vest sat in the closet, waiting to come out and play. The Ford Blue Party was the perfect opportunity to do so, and I think it worked out quite well!

Music and Entertainment

The dance moves of the Mayhem Dance Group and Kiss 92.5’s DJ Clymaxxx on the 1s and 2s made sure that this party was happening.

When I win, TeamTrolling wins

One of the unexpected twists of the night was winning a pair of wicked tickets to a Toronto Raptors game — all for dancing; something I would’ve done anyway. It’s like I say: there’s no reward for the timid. Life isn’t going to hook you up for standing on the wall and trying to look “cool” — get in there and show the world what you’ve got! With that said, thank you Ford Canada for the tickets — Justin and I had a great time — but more on that later!!!

In case you need context for just how awesome these seats were, check this out to see Section 108, Row 14:

Air Canada Centre Seating Chart for a Toronto Raptors Game

(SO GOOD.)

And of course, the 2014 Ford Fiesta

With Ford doing such a great job at engaging existing car lovers as well as trying to find new demographics, it’s great that the car looks as good as it does! With Sarah and I looking to buy a car in 2013, Ford’s made itself a contender, and I’ll be happy to spread the message of all they’re doing to adapt to an ever-changing world of social engagement. It’s good that there was a message behind all the lights and glamour, though…

The Overall Messages

The Ford Canada team made sure that we wouldn’t be drinking and driving, offering shuttle rides home to anyone in need, and making sure that everyone knew their limit. On top of that, we weren’t beholden to write anything, but from what I’ve seen, people are sharing the message because they had a great time. Of course, when a party is invite-only, it has its share of haters, as seen in the screen cap below:

A screenshot from the Ford Canada Facebook page of people hating on the Ford Blue Party
With haters, you’ve gotta take the venom in stride…

To the haters, here’s a message — you receive from social media what you put in to it. I mean this on two fronts — put negativity and snide remarks in, you’re going to get the same back. People generally extend a hand to those who they can respect and build relationships with. Why would you want to keep someone around who’s just bringing negative attitude and poisonous words to the table? Also, if you think you should be entitled to attend an event because you’ve already invested in the group holding it, prove your worth. Write blogs about your experiences. Make videos of other friends giving products a try. Shouting at the top of the mountain that you’ve been overlooked or wronged only makes you look like a complainer, which  brings us right back to the negative energy point. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

All in all, I’m happy that Ford Canada invited me to 2013’s Blue Party, and I hope it sets the tone for the rest of the year’s events!

How did YOU guys spend Snowmageddon?

Thanks for reading, guys!

–case p.

A November to Remember, Verse 4: Of Motive and Movember

Jim Sullivan, special guest speaker, sharing his story of surviving prostate cancer
Jim Sullivan, special guest speaker, sharing his story of surviving prostate cancer.

What’s the difference between a good person and the ones to be wary of? Or a good and an evil action? What helps us to draw the line between right and wrong in anything we do?

Reasoning. Intent. Motive.

Motive. Motive makes all the difference. It defines the things we do for personal gain versus those we do for people simply because we care about them. It’s why we look down on the common thief yet admire Robin Hood. Motive defines how we are perceived, always working in the background behind every decision we make.

So Is It WRONG To Be Selfish???

From L-R, @AmandaBlake9, myself with the GOTSTYLE prize pack, @michaelkim, @fastdrvr
We can all be a little selfish sometimes — as seen from my notoriety for winning stuff….

Yesterday we took a look at selfishness. When I brought forth the idea that selflessness is completely possible, I got some interesting counter-points, like:

“There’s no such thing as true selflessness. The act of giving or pursuit to assist others is in and of itself a means of self indulgence.”

Justin Baisden

“Being selfish is an important part of our own survival. If we don’t always consider ourselves first, the probability of our own survival declines immensely. I don’t even know that it’s a bad thing. Our social conditioning throughout the ages is that the strong survive. ”

Zach Bussey

“Yes, people derive satisfaction from doing things that benefit others. But I think in many (if not most cases) we would do something “selfless” because we genuinely want to see someone else benefit/prosper/succeed.”

Erik Kingissepp

Summarizing:

  • everyone’s a bit selfish — so what?
  • we need selfishness to survive
  • selfishness  isn’t the root of the problem; the real problem is when our self-interests don’t align with the interests of the greater population

I’d agree with Erik, though, and would argue that motive is the key difference between selfishness and self-interest.

My reasons for being at The Big Give definitely started out as selfish — my notorious luck in full swing, friends had already told me that I’d be going home with a ridiculous amount of swag on top of whatever else I happened to win. To me, attending wasn’t even an option. But there’s a blurry line between our selfishness simply adding to our lives… and that selfishness negatively affecting the lives of others. It’s fine to do something for your sake alone now and then, but too much of it will make you unpleasant company to just about anybody.

With that said, the very next day, it was time to change the tune. Amanda Blake, a friend of mine, was throwing one of her After Work Drinks Toronto (#AWDTO) events,  where she’d asked me to attend as the official photographer. And because I like Amanda and the great person that she is, I said yes. But why else?

#AWDTO Movember Edition: Selflessness Is Possible

Family. Friendship. These are the kids of bonds where the entire idea of selflessness comes from. We’re taught from a young age that if we behave; if we do what we’re told — our actions will equal to rewards. But as we grow older, we discover the inequities in life. We find out that sometimes no matter how hard we try, we’ll see no improvements to our lives — sometimes there’re simply no rewards for the blood, sweat and tears that we put in!

The simple fact: it is so easy to get screwed over in life!

So why do we help if it’s unrealistic to expect anything for what we do?

Because we can be selfless. We can do things for others simply because we like them. And because this is completely possible, events like #AWDTO: Movember Edition can exist. Above, Zach pointed out that selfishness is important to our survival. But he also commented on the nature of selflessness and where we’re going next:

“[W]hen you’re able to consider others and give back… everyone goes “Hey that’s awesome good for you!” and we give praise… because we recognize that value in doing it. Our new world of having plenty (in Canada at least), is teaching us to do more… social good, giving back, charity, caring for others etc. 

Overnight will we all become charitable/giving/caring/selfless etc… no. Takes time to reprogram ourselves… but it is definitely taking hold in the collective consciousness.”

— Zach Bussey

 Giving a Little Mo’

In the course of 24 hours, I’d gone from seeing people clearly out for their own interests, willing to nearly trample one another to go home with a bit extra — to a different kind of crowd altogether. Some where there to support friends. Some to network. Some people eyed the prize table as soon as they came in. But the glitz was gone. The glamour was absent. In the end, there was just a room full of people just looking to have a good time.

And we would. We would meet new people We’d learn about the experiences of a prostate cancer survivor and why it was important to support the cause. Some of us would win prizes, all of us would leave a little changed — and I don’t think that anyone was worse off for it.

Organizer and DJ Andrew Lo playing the music for the party
Not only did he help organize, but DJ Andrew Lo was on the 1s and 2s for the night’s party!

So if anyone tells you that we’re all inherently selfish, or say that everyone is ultimately out for themselves — I want you to remember this: a selfish world cannot work. If we all cared for ourselves alone and never for the people that we care about, society couldn’t grow. We wouldn’t collaborate. Ideas that need more than one person’s abilities wouldn’t happen as often. Humanity would stagnate.

We all need each other to keep growing in this world. So let’s all be a little less selfish and make it happen!

–case p.

Next in the series: That time when Casey and Sarah took a little break to cruise in the Caribbean and what it taught them about themselves and WHY they appreciate Toronto.

WHAT YOU MISSED: PartyPeopleTO’s SauzaSin — Scarily AWESOME!

Casey poing in costume with a number of friends at PartyPeopleTO's SauzaSin
Scorpion and the ladies. Scorpion… WINS.

It was less than a day to the SauzaSin party and I was screwed.

There was a lesson to be learned here — never buy anything for a costume that’s inflatable!

Ghostbusted

I’d mentioned earlier that Halloween’s usually a bit of a fail for me with costumes — I seriously don’t know how anyone in this city manages to find the time to work on awesome costumes — I commend those of you who do!

I’d stopped in at some It’s My Party discount store to pick up a costume, winding up with a Ghostbusters outfit with an inflatable proton pack, thinking it would be a safe and recognizable costume choice.

Recognizable as a hot mess, maybe!

It wasn’t until the night before the party where I decided to check the costume out (dumb move, right?), only to discover that the proton pack had a huge hole in it!

Problem. After getting work out of the way for the day, I was left with less than 2 hours until the party, and was without a costume — I try to never half-ass anything, so I needed to find something that would make a good impression on the crowd.

And at It’s My Party, I saw it. The costume that would sent the tone for the rest of my night….

Y’all Gon’ Make Me Go All Out — Up in Here, Up in Here!!!

Note: No pockets meant no camera, though, so I’m relying on other people’s photos (you down with O.P.P.?!) to tell this story right.

There is no easier way to put this — you don’t know what you missed that night if you weren’t there.

Might sound obvious, but it’s true — PartyPeopleTO knows how to throw down with their parties and there’s no way that Thursday was an exception. These guys just outdo themselves with each new party they throw!

Held at the Stirling Room in Toronto’s Distillery District, SauzaSin was a fine combination of scintillating sounds, savoury Sauza and sumptuous sin! Greeted at the door by Meg herself (the head of this whole PartyPeopleTO deal) in a stunning She-Ra costume, she and the door crew would make sure that we got our drink tickets, welcome shot and that we were good and ready for the night!

I think Shannon was on point when she said

Seriously, it was crazy in there with the amount of effort people put into their costumes! Dressed as Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion, I spent the night meeting new people and making sure to show my martial arts prowess (read: flailing) with lots of battle stances and high kicks!

Me dressed up for SauzaSin in my Scorpion costume
It’s all about staying in character, man!

But let me tell you this — getting your groove on in a full bodysuit and mask? Crazy fun! Not my brightest moment logistically, but I was definitely enjoying myself!

Our drink tickets were good for trying two different drinks — the Witch’s Cauldron and the Diablo’s Curse. People will tell you different, but I thought the odd green-coloured Witch’s Cauldron was the better bet!

But this was all a prelude to who rocked the best costume….

FINISH HIM!!!

“Scorpion, a priest and a construction worker walk into a bar…” — Nate Kogan

definitely have to thank everyone at the party for voting me for Best Male Costume! Though my original choice didn’t work out, I wanted to make sure that I still brought the heat with whatever I chose, and it looks like the crowd agreed with me!

The prize was stellar, too:

  • 1 bottle Sauza Gold tequila
  • Some cinnamon sugar to make Sauza Sin shots (yes — more Sauza Sin shots!)
  • Some Schick Quattro razors (meant to help get a brotha ready for Movember, I’m sure)
  • A $100 MasterCard gift card
  • A $100 Cadillac Fairview gift card

Don’t know what that’s going toward, but I’m very happy to have won it!

But not as much as the next thing…

FLAWLESS VICTORY.

“You are all unwelcome to Sin City
Yet the population still increases its density
And that increases its intensity
Which increases the propensity”

–Malik Yusuf, “Sin City”, Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer

Winning the Men’s Best Costume was good, but it would still leave me completely unprepared for what was to come next!

What may have been one of the most unexpected parts of SauzaSin was the top prize of the night — an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for 2!!!!

So you could imagine that this tweet would completely floor me the next afternoon:

My mind was blown.

A picture taken right after I'd won the prize for Best Men's Costume :)
VICTORY. SCORPION — WINS!!!

Sarah couldn’t believe her ears when I told her that we’d managed to win the trip — we’d been hoping to go to Vegas sometime soon anyway (to coincide with a hopeful trip to Bloggers in Sin City in May), but this was totally some very delicious Sauza icing on the cake!

I have to thank PartyPeopleTO and PRAXIS PR for the awesome party they put together and the amazing opportunity for Sarah and I to explore Las Vegas together! I really look forward to seeing what comes next!

As any good party of Tweeples, though, PartyPeopleTO made sure that no one would be leaving empty-handed and that the Sauza Sin shots would keep flowing well after the end of the party:

And one for the road….

You can catch more of PartyPeopleTO’s photos from the party in their Facebook album.

Great people, great venue, amazing times. If you managed to score an invite — what’s your excuse for missing out???

Until next time…

Me in my Scorpion costume, mask up
Tryin’ to outdo me and my costume??? #CmonSon

–case p.